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Why can I not import contacts into Outlook from a CSV generated by Salesforce?

Knowledge Article Number 000004630
Description

Why can I not import contacts into Outlook from a CSV generated by Salesforce?

Resolution

When you try to import contacts contained in a comma-separated values file (.csv) that was created by Salesforce, the import operation is unsuccessful, or some of the data does not appear in Outlook after the import.


This issue occurs if the format of the .csv file that you are using is different from the expected format during the Outlook import operation. The Outlook import must be able to recognize the data from the .csv file to correctly map it to the fields used by contacts in Outlook.

WORKAROUND

In order to import a csv of contacts generated from Salesforce into Microsoft Outlook, the field headers of the file need to be in the exact format required by Microsoft. Further details of this problem and a workaround are described below.

To work around this issue, create a .csv file that uses the format expected by Outlook.

To do this, first export your Outlook contacts into a .csv file that will be used as a template. Then, copy the data out of the .csv file created by your e-mail program and paste it into the template file. This template file can then be used to successfully import your data into Outlook.

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Start Outlook.
To create the template file, follow these steps:
      a. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
      b. In the Import and Export Wizard, click Export to a file, and then click Next.
      c. Click Comma Separated Values (Windows), and then click Next.
      d. In the Select folder to export from pane, click Contacts, and then click Next.
      e. In the Save exported file as box, type c:\contacts.csv, and then click Next.
      f. Click Finish.
g. When the export is complete, open the .csv file in Microsoft Excel.

2. Open the .csv file you created in Salesforce in Excel, and then arrange the Excel windows so that both files are visible. Position the file created by the original e-mail program on the left side of your screen, and then position the file created by Outlook on the right side.

NOTE: The types of data in both files will be very similar. However, if you examine the column headings in row 1, you will notice that the headings have different names and appear in a different order.

3. Determine which column in the file on the right contains similar data to the first column in the file on the left. Select all the data in the first column in the left file (but not the column heading), and then paste it into the corresponding column in the right file.

NOTE: Do not to paste over the column headings in row 1.

4. Repeat step 3 for each column of data contained in the left file.

5. Save and close the right file.

6. Start Outlook.

7. On the File menu, click "Import and Export".

8. In the Import and Export Wizard, click Import from another program or file, and then click "Next".

9. Click Comma Separated Values (Windows), and then click "Next".

10. In the File to import box, type c:\contacts.csv, and then click "Next".

11. In the Select destination folder pane, click Contacts, and then click "Next".

12. Click "Finish".


There will be some additional information in the CSV for example: 

Contact Mailing List Report
Copyright (c) 2000-2015 salesforce.com, inc. All rights reserved.
Confidential Information - Do Not Distribute
Generated By: (User Name Date when report was run)
undefined

Ensure that the above mentioned data is deleted before performing an import or there will be an error and import will fail only for these rows in the CSV.


Your contacts should now be imported into Outlook.





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